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If you’re in the market for a budget point-and-shoot camera that doesn’t give you budget quality pictures, then you should definitely take a gander at the Canon PowerShot A1100 IS. Coming in at 12 megapixels, it sports the Canon Digic 4 image processor and a high resolution sensor. Priced just under $200, it’s really inexpensive and blows away the competition.
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The A1100 comes with advanced face detection software. While many point-and-shoot cameras claim to have this setting, this one actually takes amazing pictures of people even in low-light settings. A box will show up and highlight the faces of the people within the shot. For example, the below picture was taken at a dark nightclub. Yet, the camera captured the people’s faces perfectly.
Another nice feature of this model is the image stabilization technology. This allows you to take pictures and not have to worry about the pictures being blurry.
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Body and DesignRating
The camera is very lightweight, weighing only 7.2 ounces with the batteries in place. It’s small enough to fit into a jacket pocket or purse: 3.7 x 2.5 x 1.2 inches. While the LCD screen is smaller than most point-and-shoot cameras (2.5 inches), it’s still very serviceable. A viewfinder is available, but it’s much harder to see through than the LCD screen.
The body is nicely shaped with a bulge on the side for better gripping and for the batter compartment. The bulge, however, maybe uncomfortable for some people until they get used to it. The typical pinwheel button can be found on the top.
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The camera is a little slow; it can take up to two seconds to take the first shot. It gets even slower in low-light. The flash takes several seconds to recharge between shots. But, it was still manageable for the price range. For those who want faster shots, the camera does have the ability to take continuous shots at 1 frame per second.
Perhaps the greatest drawback to this camera is that there is no manual control setting. You only have control over ISO, autofocus setting, white balance, metering and effects.
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This camera comes with a few extra settings, including Portrait and a SCN setting for lesser used options. Additional buttons can be found on the back for playback and shooting functions, but they’re really easy to figure out. The one major drawback on the design is the door to the battery and SD card compartment. It can be difficult to get open and often takes more than one try to get it open.
The menu is really easy to use and follows a pretty standard setup. There are a few additional settings within the menu, but again, they can be effortlessly mastered in a few minutes.
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In comparison to the Nikon Coolpix S230, the A1100 was a smoother ride. The camera is more responsive and took better images, especially in low-light settings. While the higher ISO ratings (800 and above) can result in really grainy pictures for the A1100, normal settings do great, especially with the advanced face detection setting. On the other hand, it seemed as if all of the Coolpix pictures can out noisy no matter what the setting.
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Bang for the BuckRating
While the Canon PowerShot A1100 IS does have some drawbacks, the quality of the pictures for the money can’t be beat. It’s easy to use and works extremely well in low-light. The face detection software really works. Overall, the camera is well worth the $200 price tag.